General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

pressure cooker vs. pressure canner?

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enso:
Is there a difference when it comes to canning wort?  I have a pressure cooker.  It is a really nice stainless Kuhn Rikon stainless steel one I got for $10 at the thrift store.  It was practically new and works well.

From what I understand to properly can wort you need to can it at 15 lbs. pressure for 20 minutes.  My pressure cooker has a spring loaded relief valve.  When it pushes up to the first ring on the valve stem it is at 8 lbs. pressure, when the second ring shows it is at 15 lbs.

So theoretically this should be what I need yes?  I have been canning wort for a few months now with it and using it, though I still store the canned wort in the kegerator because I am unsure.

Another question for folks.  I am starting to get into yeast culturing.  I have a whole mess of clean baby food jars from when my kids were younger.  I attempted canning some wort in those for smaller starters.  I had a heck of a time with the lids coming off in the cooker.  Some wort leaked.  I sealed them back on when taking them out.  Some sealed as they cooled others did not.  Are these going to be safe, the ones that sealed anyways?  Why do the lids come off in the cooker?

hokerer:
cooker or canner, it sounds like it's just a terminology difference.  The 15 minutes at 15 pounds sounds like just what you need.  As for the baby food jars, what lids are you trying to use?  I couldn't imagine being able to successfully reuse the original lids and I didn't think regular canning lids/bands would fit. 

You're probably better off getting regular Mason jars/bands/lids for canning your wort.  I usually use a mix of quart jars, pint jars, and "jelly jars" (4oz).  I also "can" a couple of extra of the 12ml vials I use for slants with just 10ml of wort in them.  That way, when it comes time to grow up some yeast, I take some from a slant and put it into the vial (with 10ml), next day (or two) dump that into a jelly jar of wort, next day dump that into a 500ml flask, add a pint jar of wort, and stick it on the stir plate.  Finally, dump the 500ml flask into a 2L flask, add a quart jar of wort, and stir plate away.

nyakavt:
When I was looking at them they had cheaper models that would ONLY do 8 lbs, therefore not good enough for canning.  Cooking generally is done at the lower pressure.

How tight are you getting the lids?  IME they need to be somewhere between loose and fully tight to allow steam to escape from inside the jar.  If you overfill then they can boil over and force the lid up.  You should be safe going to the highest mark on the jar.  You also don't want to do any sort of forced cooling like removing the weight or running cold water over the canner, this can cause the liquid in the jars to boil over and screw up your seal.

enso:
I had read about other folks canning in baby food jars for small initial starters so that is where I got the idea.  Yes I used the original lids.  I don't think there is a way to get a new lid.

I tried placing them on loosely, tightly and somewhere in between.  None worked.  Perhaps I did overfill them.  I filled up to the shoulder just below the threads.  Most of the jars ended up having about a centimeter lower than that when they came out.

I sealed them all up, i.e. tightened the lids while still fairly hot.  The cooker had cooled down so that the pressure had dissipated but everything was still quite hot to the touch.  Again, half ended up sealing the others not.

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